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Why Are Construction Companies Turning to Fleet Tracking Solutions? Brian Dziuk | Jan 24, 2017 12:55:17 PM

If you’re like many in the construction industry, when you think of “fleet tracking solutions,” odds are you’re assuming that the term mostly applies to carrier or transportation fleets. However, many construction companies are turning to fleet tracking solutions for their large-scale equipment.
construction equipment represents a major resource--and cost--for construction companies.

Why?

Lots of reasons, actually:

1: To Reduce Fuel Waste

Even on the best day, construction work takes a lot of time and resources. Fueling construction vehicles is a particularly large variable expense that bites deep into the budget.

One problem is that on many construction sites, equipment can be left running in idle for long periods of time, burning gas all the while. With GPS tracking solutions, you can generate records of when certain pieces of equipment are started/stopped, which makes tracking their utilization much easier.

Depending on the construction equipment’s onboard diagnostics systems, more detailed use statistics, such as engine rpms, can be collected.

2: For Enforcing Contractual Operating Hours

A lot of municipal construction contracts specify which hours of the day your work crews are allowed to operate. Most of the time, these operating hours are set so that your construction crews will have a minimal impact on the municipality’s citizens.

Violations of these contract-defined operating hours can have severe consequences for your company, including fines, or even loss of contract. By monitoring when equipment is being turned on or off, you can make sure that your workers aren’t accidentally violating your contract with the municipality—and prove it if challenged.

3: Theft Prevention

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Construction equipment sounds like an unlikely theft target—the equipment is large, hard to move, and it’s not something that most people would need/want to buy off the black market. However, construction equipment thefts happen with surprising frequency.

According to data from the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI), heavy equipment theft costs “as much as $1 billion each year in losses and associated costs such as rentals, downtime, wasted management time, and project overrun penalties.”

There are several problems to overcome with heavy equipment theft:

  • Discovering the Theft. If a piece of heavy equipment is stolen on Friday, and the next work shift isn’t until Monday, that gives thieves 48 hours to do whatever they want with the stolen equipment—such as disguising it, chopping it up for parts, or using it for other mischief.
  • One of the big problems with the majority of heavy construction equipment is the lack of a VIN similar to what you’d find on a car, SUV, or truck. Some equipment might have a PIN, but the placement of this identifier is not very consistent between different kinds of equipment and manufacturers.
  • Locating the Stolen Equipment. As big as heavy equipment tends to be, finding it 2+ days after the theft can be surprisingly difficult—especially if it’s already been disguised for resale or broken down for parts.

GPS tracking devices make resolving most of the above issues much easier for construction companies.

For example, with a geofence set for the limits of the construction area, you can get an instant alert when a GPS-tagged piece of equipment leaves the site. This reduces the discovery window from days to minutes. Also, with your GPS tag on the equipment, locating and identifying it as yours is greatly simplified.

In short, fleet tracking for construction equipment is a powerful antitheft tool that can help improve your odds of recovering stolen equipment intact.

4: To Improve Future Project Planning/Budgeting

Accurately gauging how long a project will take, what the material costs will be, and the amount of total labor involved will be is an important part of making a bid that will be competitive, yet profitable.

To make your future project planning and budgeting as accurate as possible so you can make a better bid, you need all of the data you can get. The data from your GPS devices on your construction equipment can provide valuable insights into how said equipment gets used—the fuel costs per hour of operation, total hours of operation for specific jobs, and diagnostic information that you can use to plan out maintenance needs.

This can help you better budget your heavy equipment fuel and maintenance needs so you’re a bit less likely to accidentally under-bid your services on a government contract.

These are just a few of the reasons why construction companies are increasingly turning to GPS fleet tracking solutions to monitor their large-scale construction equipment.

Find out how you can use GPS tracking for your construction equipment today!

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